Evaluation of competency methods in engineering education: A systematic review

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The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the state-of-the-art of competency measurement methods with an aim to inform the creation of reliable and valid measures of student mastery of competencies in communication, lifelong learning, innovation/creativity and teamwork in engineering education. We identified 99 studies published in three databases over the last 17 years. For each study, purpose, corresponding methods, criteria used to establish competencies, and validity and reliability properties were evaluated. This analysis identified several measurement methods of which questionnaires and rubrics were the most used. Many measurement methods were found to lack competency definitions and evidence of validity and reliability. These show a clear need for establishing professional standards when measuring mastery of competencies. Therefore, in this paper, we propose guidelines for the design of reliable and valid measurement methods to be used by educators and researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-757
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Transversal competencies
  • competency measurement
  • competency assessment
  • systematic review
  • engineering education


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